In the boss (when it comes to these songs)

It’s a tough, glorious road for GHOSTFACE KILLAH, one of nine members of the as-important-as-ever Wu-Tang Clan. At this point, he’s the Wu principal making the most important records, and their superiority extends not just through the group’s Shaolin circles: Ghostface’s last several albums have been some of the best hip-hop records, bar very few, of the last several years, and he only gets better. He spits furiously, chaotically, nervously, a Staten Island ladies’ man with a past, a seasoned dude with stories to tell, a loveable man with things to do. On his latest–the unflinching Fishscale–Ghost delves into his own pathos and internal turmoil with an honesty and a vividness sporting the ability to put even the most distanced listener in situ. On the album’s free association masterpiece, “Underwater,” you swim with Ghost through an underwater nightmare, SpongeBob rolling by in a Bentley as Ghost fights for breath. The lethargy and disdain of his last show at the CAT’S CRADLE disappointed me a bit, but–with a fresh album of material this good–this Friday, April 7 show should be worth it. It starts at 9:30 p.m. with M1 of Dead Prez opening. Tickets are $16-18. –Grayson Currin

In Illusions of Political Power (and Reform)

Stop us when it sounds familiar: Political corruption has reached pandemic levels. Someone–anyone–is desperately needed to come in and just clean house. But the rubes get snowed–again–when the really wrong man is mistaken for THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. Duke Theatre Studies professor Jody McAuliffe’s new translation/adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General may have had to transplant the most popular Russian comedy of the 19th century to the present day American homeland for current audiences, “but she didn’t have to alter the original story of hubris and incompetence and corruption run amok in government,” the production press release notes. We’re expecting savage political satire. It runs Thursdays through Sundays in SHEAFER THEATER through April 15. Tix are $7-10 and are available at or by calling 684-4444. –Byron Woods

In evolving songs

I suppose this event could be described as multimedia: In a visual art gallery in Raleigh, a solo musician named Nick Wright will play songs as DOGME 95, a name he gave to his band as an extension of the Danish film movement Dogme 95, established in 1995 to promote in-the-moment filmmaking. And the songs, one would assume, will be from his latest release, The Reagle Beagle, an album that takes its cues from the Danish Dogme philosophy. Wright uses all acoustic instruments to create songs about imagined time spent on the HMS Beagle, the boat Charles Darwin and crew used in 1831 on the voyage that, by and large, led to the theory of natural selection. The band’s work sometimes foregoes the original filming mantras, and the entire work requires a rather large suspension of disbelief, but it’s worthwhile for fans of Neutral Milk Hotel and Wolf Colonel nonetheless. Bu Hanan’s DAVID KARSTEN DANIELS opens the show on Thursday, April 6 at 10 p.m. at BICKETT GALLERY. –Grayson Currin

In returning reunions

J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Emmett “Murph” Murphy were hard-nosed music fans when they formed DINOSAUR JR. in 1984, the type that think reunions are lame and reunion records even more deplorable. Yet, as they make the second round of touring since reforming the influential band, visiting the CAT’S CRADLE Thursday, April 6, wheels are turning on recording new songs this summer.

“J and Lou are out there, doing their thing, and I’m more likely to go back and watch a good movie. I was kind of a stoner, too, back then, a party guy. Those guys were totally straight-edge,” Murph eases out in his “whatever” way, discussing his new life on the road. Barlow recently announced his reconnection with Eric Gaffney, original Sebadoh member, and a reissue of Sebadoh III. Will wonders never cease? The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $25. PRIESTESS and DEAD MEADOW open. –Chris Toenes

In Dancing A Disease Right Off This Planet

When the Cobb Connected Learning Program at UNC was soliciting student projects last fall, sophomore Marie Garlock proposed combining her two life passions–dance and advocacy. The result: the inaugural TRIANGLE DANCE FESTIVAL FOR AIDS, Friday April 7, at 8 p.m. at MEMORIAL HALL.It’s an evening of hip hop, Latin, African, Indian, step and modern dance, plus world music and spoken word, featuring companies from across the region. Baba Chuck Davis hosts performances by the UNC Step Teams, the Language Arts, MiscONcEption and Kamakazi hip-hop crews, Robin Harris, Project Mastana, and a dozen other acts. All money goes to the N.C. Alliance for AIDS Services and UNC-affiliated AIDS clinics in Kenya and India, “countries where the disease is moving so fast right now,” Garlock notes. A jazz reception and information fair follows. Tickets are $15-$5; call 843-3333 or go to for more information. –Byron Woods